Figure 1

Ithiel Pool's Major Contributions to the Social Sciences

1.    Karl Deutsch's list 
Content analysis
Elite studies
Computer simulation of social and political processes 
2.    Additions (Possible) 
Contact nets
Technologies of Freedom and Politics in Wired Nations analysis of impacts of new communication technologies 

  Figure 2

Ithiel Pool as a Communication Technology Theorist and Science-Based Revolutionary

"Most movements that are self-described as radical are highly urbanistic, or nationalistic, or oriented to obsolete class structures, or to central bureaucratic planning. The changes that we can see on the horizon are much more drastic than that . . . People who think about social change in traditional political terms cannot begin to imagine the changes that lie ahead. Conventional reformers cast their programs in terms of national policies, or in terms of laws and central planning. But in the end, what will shape the future is a creative potential that inheres in the new technologies . . ."
Ithiel Pool, "Development of Communication in the Future Perspective" in S. Aida (Ed.), The Human Use of Human Ideas (NY: Pergamon Press, 1983), pp. 237 - 238
"With each passing year the value of this 1983 book (Technologies of Freedom: On Free Speech in an Electronic Age) becomes more evident. Like no one before or since, Ithiel de Sola Pool saw the world of communications whole and with up-to-the-second knowledge in depth. . . Technologies of Freedom . . . provided a theme - freedom of speech and 'press' is core - which I took up with relish. . . I've seen this book convert liberals away from government control of broadcast media toward a guided marketplace approach . . . I've seen technology skeptics . . .begin to get a gleam in their eye."  
-   Stewart Brand. Review, 9/89, http:// BookClub/Technologies.html (7)

  Figure 3

Ithiel Pool's Operational Code as a Pioneer

1.   Focusing upon the most important emerging trends, especially affecting freedom 
2.   Addressing questions that were, jointly, of scientific interest and civic relevance for government and citizen decision making 
3.   Assessing where he, given his background, could make the greatest contribution 
4.   [Neat technology. Unstated, but probably relevant, was that Ithiel liked the challenges of developing new technology, especially for research.] 

  Figure 4

What Ithiel Pool Would Be Doing Today

I.    Developing the communication framework as a formal and systematic framework in the social sciences 
Measurement of trends
Experiments to clarify and evaluate creative potentials (e.g., scientific innovation) 
II.    Nailing the Huntington Thesis 
    [Intermission: What Ithiel Pool Would Not be Doing] 
 III.    Building Capacity for Empirically-Based Policy 
  • - The battle for social science in domestic policy 
  • - Using the independence of the academic world to strengthen government analysis
IV.   Travel (Japan, Russia)  

  Figure 5

The Retreat of Social Science, 1954 - present

"A number of criteria should be applied in the selection of research projects, among them the criteria of scientific merit and political significance (sic)." 

Speier, Hans; Bruner, Jerome; Caroll, Wallace; Lasswell, Harold D.; Lazarsfeld, Paul; Shils, Edward; Pool, Ithiel de Sola (secretary). "A Plan of Research in International Communication." Condensation of the Planning Committee Report, Center for International Studies, MIT. World  Politics  6, no. 3 (April, 1954): 358-377, p. 359. 
"I very much doubt that a cleaned up version [of the proposal to restart the testing of ideological assumptions] would be acceptable in the near term even if it came from another source and were backed by a number of Academy members." 
R. Duncan Luce [Co-Chair of the National Academy of Sciences agenda-setting Commission for the social and behavioral sciences in the 1980s and early 1990s that (without public disclosure) quietly killed recommendations for restarting progress in testing ideological assumptions on the grounds that the research would have too much political significance. Letter to the author, May 14, 1992.] 


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